A third of Kiwis say their partner is spending too much time on their smartphone

Key findings from a nationwide survey exploring how Kiwis are communicating have been released today.

2degrees polled more than 2,500 New Zealanders to find out how we are interacting with each other, with the findings exploring the relationship between human nature and technology.

As a result of this research, 2degrees is launching #GoodChat - a campaign to get Kiwis talking about how we’re communicating with each other and thinking critically about the role technology should play.

The survey has raised some thought-provoking issues. When it comes to our relationships with our partners, the research revealed a startling number of Kiwis feel their partners’ high smartphone use makes them feel insignificant:

  • More than a third (39 percent) of Kiwis are concerned their partners are spending too much time on their smartphones, and say this is affecting the quality of their relationship
  • Almost one in five report feeling insignificant when their partners spend too much time on their mobiles
  • Just 12 percent of Kiwis say their partner’s excess smartphone usage doesn’t bother them at all.

Relationship expertDr Anna Martin is working with 2degrees to offer insight on what the results mean for Kiwis.

“Technology plays an integral role in the lives of most New Zealanders – it offers so much to enhance our lives. We’re connected and accessible so it’s easy to see why most of us have a smartphone in our pocket at all times.

“However, this new research shows we need to be conscious of the potential impact on our loved ones – even if it’s unintentional. Constant checking and scanning of messages can send a signal that what’s on the phone matters more than what’s in the room.”

“It’s important to take the time to switch off and be present in the moment with our partner. While technology has an incredible array of benefits, real life interactions remain key to maintaining a healthy relationship.”

For Kiwi couples who think their smartphones are coming between their relationship, Dr Martin advocates setting dedicated device-free time or spaces to focus on personal and partnership needs. Her particular favourite is a ‘no smartphones in bed’ rule.

“You’re really going to think twice about sending that text or answering that call if you know you have to get up and leave the room to do it,” says Dr Martin.

The research identified that it’s not just our relationships with our partners that can be affected by our smartphone usage. Many Kiwis believe their siblings (33 percent) and best friends (27 percent) spend too much time on their mobile devices.

2degrees CEO, Stewart Sherriff, says the company commissioned the research to dig deeper into the comments its staff experienced when talking with customers, friends and family about technology and communication.

“Progress in the last decade has been phenomenal. When 2degrees launched, you could only use your mobile to call and text – it was too expensive for most people to use often anyway.  Now, costs have plummeted, the capability of our technology has skyrocketed and with this comes new ways of communicating online and new challenges.

“It might seem unusual for a telco to suggest people ease off using their phones, but we went into this research knowing we might be confronted with some challenging findings. We’re hoping that #GoodChat will help people reflect on and improve how they communicate,” says Sherriff.

To hear Dr Martin’s advice about how to communicate positively and constructively with those closest to you, visit 2degrees.co.nz/goodchat


For further information please contact:

Katherine Cornish

021 947 835


About 2degrees:

Communication comes naturally to you. It’s easy. And at 2degrees we want to keep it that way.

Back in 2009 we burst into the market determined to give Kiwis a better choice of telco and a fairer deal. From day one we challenged the status quo by halving the price of calls and texts and overnight freeing people to use their mobile for less than ever before. 

Since then we’ve invested more than $680m into building our own new mobile network to cover 98.5% of the places that New Zealanders live, work and play. Later, we set our sights on broadband and acquired a NZ-based internet service provider in 2015 to offer ADSL, VDSL and UFB services, supported by award-winning, NZ-based customer care.

In 2017 we announced a maiden profit of $13.4m for the year ended December 31 2016. Today we’re a fast growing business with more than one million customers, a 1200-strong team and 55 retail outlets throughout the country